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Toews injury makes loss even worse

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

ST. LOUIS — Blues winger Matt D’Agostini lined up Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and delivered a crushing a blow with about seven minutes left in the first period Tuesday night.

Down went the captain.

When Toews got up, he was favoring his right shoulder and slowly made his way to the bench. He sat among his teammates for a few moments before leaving for the locker room.

The captain didn’t return.

That was the worst blow during an ugly night that would have been even uglier if it wasn’t for an amazing night by goalie Marty Turco. The Blues simply dominated the Hawks in a 3-1 victory at the Scottrade Center.

Officially, the Hawks are calling what happened to Toews an upper-body injury. But he was clearly holding his right shoulder after the hit.

“We’ll see how he is [today],” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We’re hopeful that it’s not [long term], but we’ll know [today].”

Playing without Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa is one thing. But finding ways to succeed without Toews is a whole different level. Toews was the unwavering voice of confidence for the Hawks when they suffered injury after injury.

“More than anything, it’s frustrating to get a full lineup back, and it seems like guys drop the next game,” Kane said. “It’s tough. I don’t know what the extent of the injury is or what it’s going to be. But hopefully it’s not too bad.”

At one point in Tuesday’s game, the Hawks seemingly started to get hurt one after the other. Troy Brouwer and Niklas Hjalmarsson both missed approximately 10-minute stretches in the second.

It didn’t end there. Tomas Kopecky was sitting on the bench in the third when he was struck in the face by a puck. Fortunately, all three finished the game.

Kane returned against the Blues from his ankle injury after missing eight games. Hossa came back on Sunday after sitting out 10 games with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Dave Bolland, Brian Campbell and Fernando Pisani all have missed significant time this season.

“As soon as we get healthy there, we lose another big gun,” forward Patrick Sharp said. “It’s frustrating, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s another something to battle through, and we’ll move forward.

Jake Dowell scored for the Hawks with 1:47 left in the first period, capitalizing on a Blues turnover. But the Blues were able to sneak the next three goals past Turco.

Vladimir Sobotka took advantage of a bad turnover by Nick Boynton to tie the game at 1 with an unassisted goal 4:39 into the second. Brad Boyes gave the Blues the lead minutes into the third by beating a screened Turco.

Turco (40 saves) nearly made an amazing glove stop on Brad Winchester later in the third, but a review showed the puck just barely crossed the goal line.

It was clear before Toews left that the compete level just wasn’t there for the Hawks, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped.

“It was definitely not a good effort on our part,” Sharp said. “Right from the outset of the game, we didn’t compete at the level we feel like we set a standard at.”

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